Kuano, a drug discovery company combining quantum mechanics with AI to design the next generation of medicines, has raised £1.8M in seed funding, which will facilitate further validation of Kuano’s quantum simulation platform for the design of more effective drug candidates targeting enzymes, as well as continued company growth through strategic partnerships and recruitment.
The investment round was led by Mercia Ventures, and including ACF Investors, Ascension Ventures, o2h Ventures, Meltwind Advisory LLP, and other Angel investors.
Dysfunctional enzymes are implicated in many human diseases and are therefore a prevalent target in today’s drug market. However, until now scientists have only been able to view enzymes in their ‘resting’ state, and not in their fully functioning ‘dynamic’ states. As different enzymes may appear very similar in a resting state, drugs designed to target one may also affect others, potentially impacting drug safety and efficacy.
Kuano’s quantum simulation platform enables scientists to see and model enzymes in their dynamic state, opening new possibilities for more effective drug design. Combining these unique enzyme profiles with its suite of AI tools, Kuano can then predict the best structures with which to target them. Drug candidates designed this way are a precise match to the target enzyme, meaning that they are therefore likely to be more potent with fewer side effects. The platform has already been validated in three separate disease areas, including bowel cancer and lymphoma.
Vid Stojevic, Co-founder and CEO, Kuano, said: “Enzymes play a wide-ranging role in disease, but current technologies are unable to develop drugs to tackle most of them. Our team at Kuano recognised the need to overcome these limitations. Our platform creates a ‘quantum lens’ that reveals the difference between enzymes and allows us to target each one individually, without affecting the others. This funding round will not only allow us to continue our laboratory work, but also to strengthen our management team and prepare the company for scaling.”